Psychotropic Medication Use and the Impact on Function and Behavior Among Assisted Living and Nursing Home Residents with Moderate to Severe Cognitive Impairment

Psychotropic medications (antipsychotics, antidepressants, anxiolytics, anticonvulsants, sedative hypnotics) are commonly prescribed for long term care residents with dementia, and have been associated with negative outcome, such as falls, gait impairment, sedation and cognitive decline. The purpose of this study was to describe differences in assisted living versus nursing home residents with moderate to severe cognitive impairment with regard to the use of psychotropic medications. In addition, we considered changes in physical/functional and psychosocial outcomes over the 6 month study period based on setting and use of any psychotropic medication.